Eight days after executing Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Qasab at Yerawada prison, jail authorities have not found it fit to register his death at the birth and death registration office. According to senior officials at the PMC’s death registration department, under the Birth and Registration Act 1969 it is compulsory to acquire a death registration document from their department, irrespective of the cause of death.
Jail authorities, however, are claiming that it is not mentioned anywhere in the state government’s prison manual that it is mandatory to acquire the document if the death has occurred due to execution. “Even if the dead person is of foreign origin, it shouldn’t stop concerned authorities from acquiring the registration document, as the death is registered at the place where the death occurred,” said a senior official from the Birth and Registration department of PMC.
“There has been no request so far from jail authorities for acquiring the death registration document from our department. In a matter of national security, the state birth and registration office can provide the death registration document. However, Yerawada Jail authorities haven’t even approached our department,” said Dr ST Pardeshi, registrar with PMC’s birth and death registration department. He further said that even in the case of unclaimed bodies death registration is necessary, once the court confirms the identification. “Therefore Qasab’s case cannot be an exception,” said Pardeshi.
Yerawada Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai said “In the prison manual, there is no mention anywhere that to you have to necessarily acquire a death registration document in the case of a death penalty.” Former Bar Council president Advocate Milind Pawar said although death by execution is the rarest of the rare case, it still was death, which should be registered with the birth and death department. “Currently, if there is no provision of registering the death of an executed person in the jail manual, then the manual should be amended by the government,” said Pawar.